Now imagine such a heavy dosage theme turned into an entertaining movie. Did I hear impossible? With Badrinath Ki Dulhania, that’s exactly what newbie director Shashank Khaitan made possible. In its outer packaging, this rom-com looks fun and entertaining, but the deeper themes of dowry, gender inequality, women emancipation, sexism, interweaved in the movie portray the condition of the society we still live in.
It is in this very ‘progressive’ India the protagonist Vaidehi (another name for Sita, the pun is very much intended by the makers) decides not to go through the penance of self-sacrifice but to live on her own terms. She leaves the groom jilted at the alter to pursue her dreams. Despite Badri’s unending devotion for her, Vaidehi still isn’t convinced if he is the right guy for her or not. It is her independent and strong characterization that finally leads Badri to see through the façade of being a typical ‘Indian man’.
The emotional atyachar of Indian parents were amazingly showcased. Heart ailments are dropped like a hat by the elders at the meekest mention of ‘love’ by the young ones. The heavy duty words – sanskar (values), sabhyata (culture), dharm (religion) – are served to the children on a daily basis as breakfast, lunch and dinner. Superstations and illogical views are supposed to be pure oxygen one should breathe in. If the young ones try to rebel, they are either disowned or are emotionally blackmailed. And, that’s the story of almost all the households in this country.
However, this movie gives some hope. Somewhere, something is changing. Yes, men are becoming more supportive and sensitized, and maybe, our next generation would be much more open in their outlook. But for now, let’s hope our elders wake up to the reality of the situation and the young ones are not resorted to do a ‘Badri’!